Republic Media Network on Saturday in the aftermath of security advisory to Amarnath pilgrims and their subsequent return from Kashmir spoke to Salim Sheikh, the brave bus driver from Gujarat who had saved lives of Yatris travelling in the valley in 2017. The advisory comes after Indian Army's press briefing on Pakistan backed terror elements plot to disrupt peace in the valley and Kashmiri politicians fearmongering about 'Centre's intentions' over the security issue.
Sheikh spoke about his daring rescue of the pilgrims in 2017 where he shrewdly drove the bus which had come under terrorists' fire to safety and ensured it reached an Indian military camp.
"I went to Amarnath Yatra in 2017, and the time we were leaving to Vaishno Devi from Srinagar, our tyre got punctured and in that puncture our three hours was lost, that is why we got late and till the time we reach Anantnag it was 8:15, at that time 3-4 terrorists fired at us in which eight people were killed and 52 passengers were saved, I drove my vehicle fast for two km, then we get into a military camp, the people from the military helped us a lot, they called help on wireless, the called other vehicles, those who were injured were sent to hospital and those who were critical sent to Srinagar.
"Then they assured us that they will kill the terrorists and Indian Army actually killed them, and showed their courage, and what Indian Army said, they did the same, I thank them for that, we have a very powerful army, they will also kill the terrorists who are now creating threat on Amarnath, and they stopped the Amarnath Yatra for good, and this is a very good decision."
He also commented about the current fearmongering by politicians in Jammu and Kashmir who have claimed there is insecurity in the people of the state and concern about Centre's intention for it.
"I can't speak about the politicians, they are fear-mongering and it is wrong. I hope the government takes action against them. I also want the government to find solutions to the problems of Yatris."
Omar Abdullah and his delegation's meeting with Satya Pal Malik came about 12 hours after PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti along with leaders of other parties including Sajjad Lone and Shah Faesal met the Governor for similar reasons and were told to not create an atmosphere of fear in the Valley by linking 'other issues' to what is purely a security-related situation